Awkward living room with no wall space

Katie Clayton
December 2, 2019
last modified: December 2, 2019

I have an awkward house. It's a 1950s brick ranch with 8' ceilings that was remodeled possibly in the 80s to have a more open floorplan. It's typical of the period and has the living room separate from the kitchen and dining room, but with a circular traffic flow for the living spaces and the bedrooms opening off a single hall. Also typical is the awkward living room: too long to be a good single unified space, but too skinny to be split into 2 distinct rooms, so about 19' x 10.5'. Less typical is how I have virtually no wall space in this room, because there is a triple window (center is a picture window) that shares the long east wall with the front door, another double window in the north wall, 2 open archways into the kitchen/dining room at opposite ends of the west wall, and an additional 6.5' interior cutout/pass-through off center between the arches in the west wall. Additionally, there's an intake vent low to the ground near the corner of the south and west walls, but not actually all the way in the corner (about 2.5' from corner to the closest edge of the vent cover), which I try not to block completely.

Right now we have a 3-seater sofa, a floor lamp, and a tall skinny bookcase on the west wall, and an oversize reclining loveseat perpendicular, with the armrest touching the east wall under the plate window. Behind the loveseat is an enormous cabinet I'm getting rid of and a cat tower, as well as some hooks on the wall just by the arch. A wall-mounted TV over a freestanding fireplace cabinet are centered on the south wall, with a slim trapezoid-shaped glass curio cabinet on the same wall near the arch and an antique end table I inherited sits uncomfortably by the front door (which we never use) because it doesn't really have another place (its matching mate lives out of place in another room, because it also doesn't have a home).

I'd like to replace the large sofa with another 3-seater I'm reupholstering, swap the loveseat for an oversized chair for a better scale (with maybe a side chair for extra seating, if there's space), and make a sensible home for at least one of the end tables. I'd love to get some sort of pleasant flow for the room, but it's just so difficult - we had a coffee table in front of the sofa on the west wall, and it left plenty of space for a walkway, but not enough for another piece of furniture and space in between, so we got rid of it.

The curio isn't square and doesn't open almost ever, so it presents an even smaller profile than the rectangle I used.

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